10-27-2014

Heuking wins green light for large-scale project RRX




The public procurement team led by Ute Jasper cleared the next hurdle for the RRX rail project with the contracting authorities. DB Regio AG's 11 complaints before the Münster Procurement Chamber were dismissed. It waived the filing of appeals to Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. Thus the new premium product for regional transport in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Hesse reaches the home stretch.

With an order volume of some EUR 4 billion, RRX is the largest project of regional rail passenger transport in Germany. With shorter intervals and higher comfort, such as WiFi, RRX will offer a new quality class in regional rail transport. "What is more important, however, is that for the first time we will conclude long-lasting contracts in regional rail passenger transport upon the initiative of the Rhine Ruhr transport association," explained public procurement specialist Ute Jasper of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. "For the first time, regional rail passenger transport awards are not only governed by the price of the vehicles, but by the lifecycle costs. Over 30 years, energy consumption and maintenance are much more expensive than the vehicles themselves. In the interest of a sustainably economic and environmentally sound contract award, they are the factor that governs who will be awarded the contract. This leads to vehicles being planned and built, which consume less electricity and can be serviced more easily."

DB Regio had challenged the award procedure for the RRX operation with numerous complaints. It will now have to transfer maintenance and repair work to a manufacturer, and as existing operator, runs the risk of losing the order as well, competing with other providers. The Procurement Chamber was not prepared to accept DB Regio's main argument that the new division of tasks was not customary in the industry, too risky for the railway undertakings, and thus unlawful under public procurement law. Obviously with such good reasoning, so that DB will not file an appeal at the Higher Regional Court.

Dr. Ute Jasper is one of the best-known lawyers for public procurement and public infrastructure projects. She advises federal and state ministries, municipalities, and companies. Ute Jasper heads Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's "Public Sector & Public Procurement" department. For years, she has been ranked number 1 in JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms 2013/2014, and according to "Law Firms in Germany" is the "premier contact on the market" for infrastructure.

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